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What is the absolute cheapest high CRI light available?

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I've been doing lens and camera tests, and want to do them in a stable lighting environment, so I know that means I need some artificial light, and that it needs to be high CRI.  My challenge is that I have no real need for this lighting apart from doing these tests, so I want to spend as little as possible.

I'm assuming that the best option is a large power halogen light?  Something like this?

e6203b90-6291-49bb-bfec-e052cc8f6e30.jpg

https://www.bunnings.com.au/arlec-1000w-halogen-worklight-with-tripod_p7070522

And maybe just bounce one / both of them off the ceiling (which is painted white) to soften things a little?

Thanks.

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EOSHD Pro Color for Sony cameras EOSHD Pro LOG for Sony CamerasEOSHD C-LOG and Film Profiles for All Canon DSLRs

I'd suggest a used Lowel DP. You can use them with a 1000w or 500w bulb. 1000w gives you a ton of light. Keep in mind where you'll be using it, obviously won't look great mixed with daylight. 

But yeah can't really go wrong with those lights. Will last forever and provide a ton of high quality light. They are also pretty dirt cheap used. Combine with a dimmer and you are good to go.

Avoid the omni lowel lights, bulbs tend to burn out easily and they are just not as good. 

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1 hour ago, IronFilm said:

2ndhand tungsten lights

So many people are getting rid of excellent film lights which used to be staples workhorses of the industry, because people are moving over to newer tech 

This in spades.  Super high quality - very cheap deals out there.   Just learn a bit about using them if you haven't before.

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4 hours ago, androidlad said:

CMOS sensors generally perform the best in daylight balanced source.

There are quite a few high quality high CRI LED lights available, like this:

https://store.yujiintl.com/collections/high-cri-led-lights/products/led-corn-bulb-for-photography-and-studio-lighting

Thank you @androidlad ...terrific these "corn" bulbs are now CRI 95+

Would you know of higher wattage ones...to go in my Chimera Triolet (E39 mogul base) fixtures?

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7 hours ago, IronFilm said:

2ndhand tungsten lights

So many people are getting rid of excellent film lights which used to be staples workhorses of the industry, because people are moving over to newer tech 

You can often see postings in larger areas, like NYC, that are literally giving them away so people don't have to go through the "hassle" of selling/disposing them. We're such a wasteful society. 

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16 hours ago, thebrothersthre3 said:

I'd suggest a used Lowel DP. You can use them with a 1000w or 500w bulb. 1000w gives you a ton of light.

The DP light is a great fixture!  I used two of them in a shoot just last week.  With the FEL (1kw) bulb, you have a lot of punch that you won't find in most LED fixtures.

 

 

16 hours ago, thebrothersthre3 said:

Keep in mind where you'll be using it, obviously won't look great mixed with daylight. 

Easy enough to use 1/2 CTB gels, so that the tungsten color mixes well with daylight.

 

 

16 hours ago, thebrothersthre3 said:

Combine with a dimmer and you are good to go.

Keep in mind that the dimmer has to be rated for at least 1kw, if one uses the FEL (1000w) bulb or the EHF (750w) bulb.

 

 

16 hours ago, thebrothersthre3 said:

Avoid the omni lowel lights, bulbs tend to burn out easily and they are just not as good.

Completely disagree with you here.  Omnis are GREAT lights!

 

The reason why folks have had problems with the bulbs is that most of the bulb manufacturers initially did not include a central filament support, so the filament would break easily with shock, plus the focus mechanism on the Omni is exceedingly fast.  When the FTK (500w) bulbs started to appear with filament supports, most of the bulb problems disappeared.  However, one still should be careful not focus too quickly with an Omni light.

The Omnis have a greater focusing range than the DP lights, and two Omnis easily fit into the space of one DP light.  At 500w, the Omnis also pack a lot of punch for being so compact.  I would definitely recommend Omni lights, and I always carry at least one in my lighting kit.

 

By the way, I heard that QC dropped a little when Tiffen bought Lowel, so it might be wise to search for the pre-Tiffen fixtures.

 

 

1 hour ago, photographer-at-large said:

...terrific these "corn" bulbs are now CRI 95+

Yes, but don't lick them.

 

Seriously, many of these "corn" bulbs have exposed contacts next to the LEDs, and you can get a little zap if you touch the contacts.

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12 hours ago, IronFilm said:

2ndhand tungsten lights

So many people are getting rid of excellent film lights which used to be staples workhorses of the industry, because people are moving over to newer tech 

I think Tungsten lights still look better on skin more than the modern LED stuff outside of high-end options like Kinoflow and Digital Sputnik.

Also the Tungsten stuff is supposed to be more color accurate iirc. 

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1 hour ago, Mako Sports said:

I think Tungsten lights still look better on skin more than the modern LED stuff outside of high-end options like Kinoflow and Digital Sputnik.

Also the Tungsten stuff is supposed to be more color accurate iirc. 

I looked up the CRI of tungsten and places just list it as 100..  and it's way cheaper than LED bulbs with lower CRI.  

Of course they're big and heavy and hot and chew power but for my purposes (the odd camera test at home) those limitations are fine.

There's a table of CRI values in this: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Color_rendering_index

I laughed - Low Pressure Sodium has a CRI of -44.  I didn't know the scale could go negative!! 😆😆😆

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8 minutes ago, kye said:

Of course they're big and heavy

On the contrary, tungsten lights are usually smaller and lighter than their LED counterparts with equivalent output.  Plus, tungsten lights have no fans.

 

The Lowel Omni is compact and light-weight with a high power density and a nicely focus-able beam, but a redhead would work, too -- it's just a little bigger and has a more limited focusing range.

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1 hour ago, Mako Sports said:

I think Tungsten lights still look better on skin more than the modern LED stuff outside of high-end options like Kinoflow and Digital Sputnik.

Also the Tungsten stuff is supposed to be more color accurate iirc. 

Correct. They also don't vary much at all light to light, so you can mix and match pretty easily. 

I've gone the daylight LED route for heat reasons, but Tungsten lights are great. 

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+1 for tungsten, unless you book alot of time sensitive gigs that require you to pack up and leave fairly quickly, which is something that can be easily forgotten/overlooked if you're not used to working with fixtures that need time to cool down after they've been used.

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2 hours ago, newfoundmass said:

Correct. They also don't vary much at all light to light, so you can mix and match pretty easily. 

I've gone the daylight LED route for heat reasons, but Tungsten lights are great. 

come winter time some of that heat might be quite welcome.

the bunnings lights are pretty cheap i'd lean that way too.

Please pardon my ignorance, is there much difference between halogen and tungsten ? could you throw a gel in front of a halogen to balance it ?

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1 hour ago, leslie said:

come winter time some of that heat might be quite welcome.

the bunnings lights are pretty cheap i'd lean that way too.

Please pardon my ignorance, is there much difference between halogen and tungsten ? could you throw a gel in front of a halogen to balance it ?

Yeah of course putting on gels takes down the power of the light by a lot. 

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4 hours ago, leslie said:

Please pardon my ignorance, is there much difference between halogen and tungsten ?

A halogen bulb is one of the two primary types of tungsten light sources.  This type of lamp uses a thick, quartz glass "envelope" with a tungsten filament and halogen gas inside, hence the terms "quartz," "halogen" and "quartz halogen" -- all of these terms refer to the same type of bulb.

 

The other type of tungsten lamp is "incandescent," which is the same technology as traditional household bulbs.  Incandescent lamps have a thin, large glass envelope enclosing a tungsten filament and such bulbs are often filled with argon gas.

 

Quartz halogen bulbs are significantly smaller and longer lasting and their color remains consistent throughout their life.  Incandescent bulbs are more delicate and discolor as they age.

 

Never touch the quartz glass of a halogen bulb with your fingers/skin.  If you do, immediately clean the quartz  thoroughly with isopropyl alcohol and a clean paper towel or plain cotton pad. Otherwise, the oil from your skin will impregnate the quartz and weaken it when it heats up, which can cause the bulb to explode.

 

 

3 hours ago, thebrothersthre3 said:

Yeah of course putting on gels takes down the power of the light by a lot. 

A 1/2 CTB gel cuts about 1/2 stop of output.

 

On the other hand, if you are mixing ballasted daylight fixtures (such as HMIs), it 's just as easy to put CTO gel over those fixtures.

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3 hours ago, tupp said:

the oil from your skin will impregnate the quartz and weaken it when it heats up, which can cause the bulb to explode.

I've seen that happen on set - it's no joke!

Luckily there was no-one under the light when it sprayed glass powder over half the bar we were shooting in.

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